Preliminary zoning plan for Haringvlietdam wind turbine repowering published

Last week, the Dutch municipality of Hellevoetsluis published a preliminary zoning plan for the renewal of wind turbines on the Haringvliet dam in the province of Zuid-Holland.

On the dam’s seaward side, six wind turbines are still standing. The zoning plan provides for these to be replaced by two, larger turbines on the inside of the dam, the Haringvliet side. For reasons of water safety, Rijkswaterstaat does not allow the two turbines to be installed where the existing ones are located, on the dam’s sea side. The Haringvlietdam is an important part of the primary flood protection system.

Planned location of the two wind turbines

On the Haringvlietdam, there is enough room for two wind turbines. Various studies, including effects on the living environment, recreation, nature, and water safety, have been conducted to make this possible. The zoning plan must be changed, and permits are required, in order to build wind turbines at the new location. The area will allow for turbines with a maximum tip height of 200 meters. E-Connection is developing the plans by order of Windpark Haringvliet BV, the current turbine owner.

Online information meetings were held at the beginning of last year to inform and involve the environment and stakeholders in the plans, and a follow-up is planned for the end of the month. Together with the municipality, a sounding board group has been formed, in which local residents in particular participate.

Site-specific requirements

The preliminary draft zoning plan was ready for publication in the summer of 2021 but were put on hold, due to the decision by the Council of State in June of that year that general wind energy standards for noise and cast shadows, among other things, could no longer be used in wind plans. The Dutch government should have conducted an environmental assessment in accordance with European regulations in order to be able to apply these general standards.

As a result, the central government is currently implementing an environmental impact assessment plan in order to re-establish general standards for wind energy. Municipalities can, however, set location-specific standards to allow for the installation of wind turbines, according to the Council of State. As a result, work is underway to develop location-specific standards for the wind turbines on the Haringvlietdam. The preliminary zoning plan will make this clear. From 3 March to 31 March, the preliminary draft zoning plan will be available for consultation.

Wind turbine decommissioning

The municipality of Hellevoetsluis signed the Rotterdam Wind Energy Covenant in 2012, paving the way for wind energy in the region. In the end, the Haringvliet dam was designated as the only wind location within Hellevoetsluis in provincial policy. Three wind turbines, with a total installed capacity of 12 MW, were originally planned. Further research by E-Connection Project showed that three wind turbines are not possible at the location. Large concrete blocks were used in the construction of the Haringvlietdam, which makes it impossible to install foundation piles for wind turbines in the ground over a wide strip. However, two wind turbines are possible.

The existing six wind turbines will be decommissioned. The zoning plan does not allow for the old and new turbines to operate at the same time. This means that when the new turbines are installed, the existing turbines must be shut down. After that, they will be dismantled. Source: E-Connection

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